Good Friday Hot Cross Buns

Good Friday marks the second day of the Triduum (from the Latin for ‘three days’), the day on which we commemorate the Lord’s crucifixion and death. The Good Friday liturgies at our monastery (and many others around the world) mark our observance of Christ’s final hours, picking up from Maundy Thursday Eucharist, and continuing through the Holy Saturday Vigil, the Great Vigil of Easter, and carrying us all the way to Easter morning.

In keeping with the solemnity of the day, we remember Christ’s death by bringing to the liturgy of the hours the full range of spiritual depth and beauty found in the ancient texts; we participate in the veneration of the cross, and chant Gospel Passion Narrative. It is a special and holy time, filled with moments of silence, listening, reflection and conviction, as well as a time of joy-filled anticipation.

This day of the Cross marks us with God’s presence, and He marks us for his own.

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Rating: 4.75
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Good Friday Hot Cross Buns
SERVINGS
1dozen buns
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
dozen buns
COOK TIME
25mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
3hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast by sprinkling it over the very warm water and add a pinch of sugar to activate.
  2. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until about 100 degrees F. (but no more than 110 degrees)
  3. In a mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add the warmed milk to the yeast mixture.
  4. Plump the raisins (or currants) and citron in the microwave with a little orange juice; cool and set aside
  5. To the yeast & milk mixture add the remaining sugar, melted butter, egg yolk and extract.
  6. Add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger to the mixture and continue kneading.
  7. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  8. Remove the orange juice from the raisins and citron and discard.
  9. Add the raisins and citron to the dough and mix well. The dough should be slightly sticky and not dry.
  10. Knead until soft and elastic, about 8 min. Shape into a ball.
  11. Brush the inside of a large bowl with butter. Put dough in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hr. 30 min. **
  12. To form the rolls: Pam a 9x13” pyrex pan. Turn the dought out of the bowl and roll into a log. With a dough cutter or sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each of these pieces into a round bun shape, tucking the edges under.
  13. Place them seam side down in the prepared pan, leaving a little space between each roll. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls are doubled in size, about 45 min. or longer.
  14. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare your egg wash.
  15. Prepare glaze: In a mixer, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla or almond extract and oil until smooth (the oil will give it a high gloss). The icing should be quite thick. If too runny, add more powdered sugar. Transfer icing to a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.
  16. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the rolls and brush the buns with egg wash. Bake rolls until golden brown and puffy, about 25 min. (an instant read thermometer inserted into the roll should read 190 degrees F.)
  17. Ice buns with a thick cross shape on the top of the warm buns and serve.

** Please note:  This dough might take a long time to rise, but be patient...it is worth the wait because they will come out nice and light!

Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake

As our choir was preparing for our Lenten concert program this past week, we reminded ourselves that the English word Lent is a shortened form of Old English len(c)ten, which means ‘spring’.  This means that Lent refers to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.

What could be more spring-like than a warm tart and sweet lemon soufflé?  As I was preparing this dessert as a gift for a friend, I looked out into our snow-covered yard imagining crocuses budding their heads out of the frozen earth as a promise of what lies ahead.

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Votes: 6
Rating: 4.17
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Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake
SERVINGS
6people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
40-45mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
1.5hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. A soufflé will work the best if all of your ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and dust with sugar six – 1 cup ramekins or other heatproof bowls or a six cup soufflé dish.
  2. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sugar to use when whipping the egg whites. Place the remaining sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the lemon zest to the sugar. With the beater attachment, grind the lemon zest into the sugar, creating a fragrant, slightly yellow tinged sugar. Working the zest into the sugar will release lots of the essential oils in the zest, creating a super lemony batter.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the lemony sugar and softened butter. Add the three egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined (do not over mix)
  4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the lemon juice and milk. Set aside while you beat the egg whites.
  5. In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, in three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
  7. Carefully pour (or use a ladle) the batter into the prepared ramekins. (The batter does not rise much during baking so you can fill the ramekins almost to the rim.)
  8. Place the ramekins or soufflé dish in a larger baking pan. Boil a tea pot of water to create a water bath. (A water bath is used to provide temperature protection for the eggs.)
  9. Place the basting pan with the souffle inside into the oven, carefully pulling the oven rack out a bit. Carefully pour in enough hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins or soufflé dish, and carefully slide the rack back into the oven.
  10. Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes or until the sponge cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. Be careful not to insert the toothpick into the lemon sauce at the bottom of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool slightly before serving.

This dessert can be served warm or at room temperature. Dust the tops of the puddings with confectioners sugar and dress with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries or lemon slices.

Lemon Cream Custard Pie

Lemon meringue pie has always been my most favorite lemon dessert, but recently I was introduced to another lemon dessert that really rivals it: Lemon Cream Custard Pie. Similar in its fresh tangy flavor, but different in texture and topped with whipped cream instead of meringue.  I have only had it once but definitely want it again.

Lemon Cream Custard Pie

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Rating: 1.5
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Lemon Cream Custard Pie
SERVINGS
1pie
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
pie
COOK TIME
15 mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN
12hrs.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In saucepan, mix sugar, pinch of salt, cornstarch, butter, lemon peel, lemon juice, egg yolks and milk; stir and cook until thick, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Cool.
  3. Fold in sour cream.
  4. Pour into pastry shell.
  5. Refrigerate at least 12 hours.
  6. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
  7. Garnish as desired.

Little Nectarine Cake

We are exceptionally fortunate to have a variety of fruit trees so close to the convent where we can actually see the fruit daily ripening on their branches. I never tire of watching them, year after year, as they develop from buds and blossoms to fully formed peaches, plums, pears and apples. Right now nectarines are the main attraction and center stage in all their beauty, with peaches just behind waiting in the wings to make their appearance.

There is a sweet little cake with a zesty fresh lemon flavor that lends itself perfectly as an accompaniment to any fresh fruit.  It is a simple to mix batter into which you add slices of your choice of fruit according to the season; apricots, peaches and apples. It is surprisingly versatile and appealing and can be served in many ways.  Lovely all by itself with a cup of tea, or alongside a dish of fresh fruit, it also packs nicely into a lunch box or picnic basket. This morning a beautiful basket of freshly picked nectarines appeared on the kitchen counter, some of them still on their leafy branches. This afternoon we made little nectarine cakes. They all disappeared in no time.
Little Nectarine Cake
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Little Nectarine Cake
SERVINGS
12muffins
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
muffins
COOK TIME
20mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat 12 muffin cups with non-stick spray.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another medium bowl, until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.
  5. Add egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  7. Divide batter among muffin cups (cups will be only 1/3 full) and smooth tops.
  8. Top with nectarine slices and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake until cakes are golden and toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
  10. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let pan cool 5 minutes, then transfer cakes to a rack and let cool completely.
  11. Cakes can be made one day ahead. x
  12. Cakes can be made one day ahead.
  13. Store airtight at room temperature. Makes 12.

Coconut Cake In A Glass, Or Coconut Cream Trifle

It is a sunny, slightly warm day here on the Cape, but cold weather is on its way again soon. I’m not quite ready for spring, though,  I am still waiting for the BIG snow of the season. We did have a couple of snow falls of a couple of inches, but I would really love a good 10 to 12 inches. Snow is also great for the garden, and we are already planning what vegetable seeds to buy, along with starting another plot for a garden, so please pray that we get the big storm!

I recently had a birthday and was given one of my favorite desserts — a coconut cream trifle. I have served this in little glasses, and called it coconut cake in a glass — and it is truly divine. This recipe is a little complicated and time consuming, but I promise it is well worth the effort for any event or family gathering.

Coconut Cake in a Glass, or Coconut Cream Trifle

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Coconut Cake In A Glass, Or Coconut Cream Trifle
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
30mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN
40mins.

Ingredients

Instructions

First make the simple syrup:
  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  4. Let cool.
Then the custard:
  1. Bring milks to a simmer over low heat in a nonreactive saucepan.
  2. Whisk together the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk in a small amount of the milk mixture to the egg mixture to temper the eggs, then slowly whisk in the rest until smooth.
  4. Return mixture to the pot over medium heat, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened.
  5. Scrape mixture into a bowl, and whisk in the rum and vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
Now the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Generously butter and flour 2 (9″by 2″) cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla in a medium bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  5. With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time, and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
  6. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  7. With mixer on low speed, add remaining milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more.
  8. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
  9. Divide batter between the 2 pans and smooth tops with a spatula.
  10. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 22 to 24 minutes.
  11. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, then invert onto the rack, removing the parchment. Let cool completely.
  12. Toast the 1 cup of coconut until golden for topping.
  13. Whip the 1 1/2 cups of cream, and fold 2/3 of it into the cooled custard for the filling between layers of cake, reserving the last 1/3 for the final layer of the dessert.
To assemble:
  1. Slice each cake into 2 layers, brush with the simple syrup, and then chunk up into bite size pieces.
  2. You can make these either individually in glasses, or for a crowd in a large glass bowl.
  3. Put a layer of cake pieces in the bottom of your container, then a layer of the custard mixture, continuing until your container is full, final layer being the last 1/3 of the whipped cream, and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.
  4. This is most delicious if you refrigerate it for a couple of hours so the flavors meld.